Thursday 24 March 2022

Very Mild Commination on Someone Who Stole the Sachet of Seeds from a Poundland Grow-Your-Own Chilli Pot

Woe is me, for I am as a woman bereft of chilli seeds - but not many. 

Slightly saddened am I, and a bit bemused.

For behold, the pot in which I was to grow my chilli plants, 

which I bought for just a quid from Poundland

is empty of chilli seeds

and the contents are incomplete.

There are the little pads of coir compost on which I was to scatter the seeds

Behold the little plastic dish in which to place the compost

But there are no seeds

The sachet is not there

The pot is bereft

and life is not in it.

I am the victim of the world's most low-value crime

and  also quite a long-term one.

For who thieves a small sachet of chilli seeds thinking to fence it on the black market?

Where is the cut-price shop selling tiny sachets containing few seeds?

Woe unto they who cannot put their hands into their pockets for a pound to buy a packet of seeds 

And would rather source their greenhouse comestibles by thievery and deceit.

May wrath burn against them

but only mildly

Like unto an chipotle or an jalapeño

and not like unto the Scotch Bonnet

or the Carolina Reaper, which scorcheth the nether regions the day after consumption like the very fires of Gehenna.

May those who steal very small sachets of chilli seeds stub their toes very slightly when they go to bed at night.

May they have forget where they have lain their glasses

remembering not that they are on top of their heads.

May their remote controller run out of batteries 

just when Pointless is on the other channel.

May they wake up five minutes before their alarm goes off

and then fall asleep again, only to be awakened shortly afterwards.

May Windows install updates two minutes before their important Zoom meeting.

May their hair dye be just one shade out of what they expected.

Or - if male - may they go bald two weeks earlier than they would otherwise expect.

May the door bell ring when they are in the bath

and the Yodel delivery agent throw their package over the fence

But the box not be too badly damaged

and the goods inside basically OK.

So may they have minor frets

and lesser inconveniences

all the days of their lives.

Or at least for a couple of weeks.

Tuesday 22 March 2022

What Nazanin Should Have Said

I would like to start by saying how grateful I am. To Liz Truss, who manages to look so inspiring on Instagram, and to Boris Johnson. It is true to say that having Boris Johnson as Prime Minister has truly righted the situation after all those previous Foreign Secretaries, who weren't as good as Liz Truss, failed.

As an Iranian-born dual national, I am especially duly grateful that the United Kingdom has gone to all the trouble of paying a decades-old debt, just so I can come to what I can regard - until Priti Patel revokes my citizenship - as home. 

I would like to thank all the people with Twitter accounts featuring Union Jacks and words like "Brexiteer" in their profiles. If they had not been referring to "mad mullahs" for all these years, the Iranian government would never have caved in and released me in the way they did.

I should especially add my husband Richard. Not only has he repeatedly gone on hunger strike to support me - but more importantly, he was grateful to Liz Truss. Whose taste in hats is arguably second only to Boris Johnson's stylish wearing of hi vis. I am very grateful. And, as his wife, I know he is right.

And I would like to make it clear that, with my dual nationality, I have really no right to be British at all - as you can see by looking at my skin tone. And so I am so grateful that people are prepared to consider me a bit British by marriage. 

Finally, I would like to thank Vladimir Putin. Without the oil crisis he generated by invading Ukraine, which meant Boris Johnson needed to find alternative sources,  I might still be under house arrest in Iran. So, like so many of the people with Union Jacks and "Brexiteer" in their profiles on Twitter, I owe so much to him.

I am very grateful.

Monday 21 March 2022

Green and AstroTurfed Land

News from my friend Melissa Sparrow, famed for her terrible poems. Over in Grilsby-on-the-Hill where she lives, they've been getting fretful about the regular costs of cutting the grass in the churchyard. And there's been numerous fights over it. Being a traditional farming community, they go out and spray it with all sorts of poisons so as not to have any dandelions, daisies, nettles or primroses in the grass. But there's been an influx of "them woke types from the City what the Express warned us about", and they started to suggest a programme of leaving some uncut, raking up the mowings, building compost heaps and other such left-wing conspiracies.

So at the last PCC they voted to cover the graveyard with artificial grass.

Melissa is sad at the loss of the previously lovely stripy lawns.

And then there's the other downside. The terrifying Grilsby Badgers. Notorious for digging in the graveyard, mugging passing archdeacons, and excavating archaeological sites while nobody is looking.

Artificial turf is no match for badgers, it turns out. There's now two-foot holes dug through the turf all over the place. Some of the badgers have taken to getting under the fabric, then tearing around like soldiers on an assault course. It's causing terror to unsuspecting church visitors who become aware that chunky objects are heading towards them with plans to steal their shoes.

Yes. Grilsby badgers steal shoes. Which they then drag under the plastic grass. So now there's the green outlines of assorted shoes, sticking out of the graveyard.

And the parishioners of Grilsby really think, in retrospect, they should maybe have cut round the gravestones rather than straight over them. Some relatives are starting to complain. Although, to be fair, not too loudly in case they attract the attention of the badgers.

One did. And now there's the green outline, etc etc. The badgers are holding him hostage for more shoes.

If you're thinking of covering your graveyard with artifical turf - I wouldn't.

Saturday 19 March 2022

If Sting Wrote Hymns for Progressive Liberal Christians

You don't have to light up that tea light
Taize is over
We can go out all relaxed and feeling bright.
Icons don't have to be used tonight
Just hold your seaside pebble
You don't care if it's wrong or if it's right.

You don't have to light up that tea light
You don't have to light up that tea light
You don't have to light up that tea light
You don't have to light up that tea light
 You don't have to light up that tea light

I've got that blissful feeling
Iona is appealing
I have to tell you just how I feel
I don't care who wrote Ephesians.
My liberal mind's all made up
So you can wear your make up
Told you once I won't tell you again
I won't judge you.
You don't have to light up that tea light
You don't have to light up that tea light
You don't have to light up that tea light
You don't have to light up that tea light
 You don't have to light up that tea light

Thursday 17 March 2022

The Name of the Moon

A lot of people getting very excited about the "Worm Moon", the made-up traditional name for today's full moon. And the Beaker Folk have asking me what the traditional Beaker names for the full moon were.
Well, I've done some investigation and I can confirm that the complete list of traditional Beaker names for moons is as follows:

January: Keith Moon
February: Sun Yung Moon
March: John O'Mooney
April: April* Moon
May: Button Moon
June: Clanger Moon
July: Daphne Moon
August: Under the Water Moon
September: Werewolf Moon
October: Hallowmoon
November: Ban Ki Moon
December: Moonmass

And I think everyone knows that, if there's a second moon in the month, it's a leap moon and you have to put the clocks to 1792.

* They took April off.

If Sting Wrote Fundamentalist Evangelical Hymns

Every breath we take
Every move we make
Each tambourine we shake 
Every cake we bake
You'll be judging us.

Every gift we bring
Every song we sing
Every bell we ring
Every sacred thing
You'll be watching us.

Oh we all know
We belong to you
Our knees just quake
With every vow we break.

Every night time prayer
All the clothes we wear
Each time we don't care
How we wear our hair 
You'll be watching us.

Wednesday 2 March 2022


It's not his Lent yet, but still...

A little man sits at a long table
Face puffy with his fight against mortality
No one comes near
All must be tested
A mighty ruler, yet scared of a handshake
or a rogue breath, veering in the wrong direction.

So powerful, so great, his rule obeyed
So shrunken, so faded, so scared.

"I am almighty," he says, "or maybe I am just Herod, to be eaten from inside. "

Filling others' skies with manifest threat
While his own air is filled with one invisible.

Was that a speck of death?
Or just a particle of dust?